What Is The Difference Between An Atheist, An Agnostic And A Deist? Which One Believes In God?

6 Answers

Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I'm going to give this a shot with as little assumptive leaps about each groups' beliefs as possible:

Atheism: The rejection of belief in any divine or supernatural entities.  In the current vernacular, this relates especially to deities that have a personal relationship with followers of these divine entity or entities--the very crux of theism.  Atheists, it should be noted, do not deny the possibility of god or primal source.  However, not only is there zero evidence to support such a claim, there is overwhelming scientific evidence to reject it.  The primal source claim, for example, leads to various ontological issues whereby logic breaks down and faith inevitably takes over (who created the creator? Etc.).  Atheists see no reason to fill these empty holes with steadfast belief grounded in assumption.  For this reason, they reject belief in god until good evidence is presented. 

Agnosticism:  This is simply not claiming to know whether a deity or deities exist.  An Agnostic can still be a believer in a deity, but would only admit that such a belief is unprovable.  An agnostic can also be an atheist, which would look similar to the definition for atheism with the exception of the Agnostic CHOSING to not believe based on whatever reasons he or she has for said disbelief.  The atheist, by contrast, CANNOT believe god exists because of the lack of evidence--the scientific method makes it necessary to reject god like any other untestable fantastic claims.  Atheist=bound to the evidence.  Agnostic=more willing to take a leap of faith and willing to excuse lack of evidence due to (fill in the blank). 

Deism:  Belief in a divine creator, but either hard skepticism or outright disbelief that this creator has or ever had any interaction with our world by way of miracles or supernatural events.  See the Jefferson Bible, or Spinoza's work.
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Catherine Howard
Catherine Howard commented
I argee with your statement except that agnositics can believe in a deity. Agnostics do not know if there is/are higher power(s). Some do tend lean towards a certain tradition, like Agnositc Christians, but they do not actually believe because they lack knowledge. On the flip side Agnostic Atheists cannot believe there is no higher power(s) because they lack knowledge. 

 It's all about no belief in anything (higher power(s) existing or not existing) based on not having enough information. Both Gnostics and Atheists have enough knowledge to believe in something either their is/are higher power(s) or there is/are not higher power(s).
In my experience agnostics are very unlikely to take a leap of faith because they simply haven't yet. Whereas gnostics and atheists already have taken a leap of faith that there is/are higher power(s) or there is/are not higher power(s).
Mary Frederick Profile
Mary Frederick answered
An atheist believes man is an entity unto himself and is the only maker and has supreme control over his own destiny. He looks for man's liberation through social and economic liberation. He looks upon religion as an entity, which thwarts the emancipation of man by creating false hopes for a future life and prevents him from working toward a better life on earth.

An agnostic does not deny God exists, he neither denies nor agrees that God exists. He only agrees the existence or non- existence of God cannot be proven. He is said to be indifferent and often lacks a moral conscience. One might say he is a practical atheist.

A deist is one who believes God exists, however the deist also believes God made the earth and all that is in it. However, the deist believes God has no further relationship with man and turned away once man was created.
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Anonymous
Anonymous commented
This is absurd.
1) agnostics lack a moral conscience? According to whom?
2) Deists don't necessarily believe a deity made the earth and all that was in it. From where did you collect this information?
3) your atheist definition sounds a lot like social darwinism. It even makes us out to sound parasitic, arrogant and desperate on our own. In fact, your comments read more like a cautionary tale than a proper definition.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Jannier I do take umbridge with you. How very Asian of you! The concept that we are all figments of God's imagination is in Taoism, Buddism and other Asian philosophies. Carl Jung wrote often of our connectedness in the "Collective Unconscious". Christianity differs in that it sees each soul as unique and different but important to the whole. We are not swallowed up into the great ocean like a drop of water but we are added like a cell to the honeycomb, retaining all the specialness that is the individual, intack and conscious of it's place in the afterlife. (Heaven if you like)
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered

I will tell you what each is as unbiased as possible.

Atheist-does not believe in any deities.

Agnostics-believes that deities may or may not exist. 

Deists-believe that a higher power does exist, but that higher power does not take a personal interest in Earth.  (The clock maker god is another way to describe this.).

Mary Frederick Profile
Mary Frederick answered
A person who denies there is a God or gods is an atheist. A person who questions the existence of God , heaven or any type of a spiritual being is an agnostic. A deist, which is a term for rationalists of the 18th century believed God created the world, then rejected man and all creation.

An atheist believes man does not need God, and is in control of his own life. Atheists believe man's freedom lies in economic and social liberation and has no need of religion or other formal belief system.

An agnostic does not deny the existence of God, but believes such a Being cannot reveal itself to man. Some agnostics search for God, yet do not attempt to develope a moral conscience based on belief.

Both, an agnostic and a deist believe in the existence of God, but deny a reason or need for a relationship with God.
Jannie Ruppersberg Profile
The truth is actually so simple and easy to understand:

In the beginning we were all one sharing one consciousness and one mind. Imagine that we were one big bucket of water. As one we decided to multiply our experiences because we had limited experiences as one being with one mind and one consciousness. We then exploded into a billion different pieces (or droplets of water) all with it's own mind, consciousness, thoughts and personalities. Our goal is now to experience as much as possible because when all of this end and our little droplets of water get added to the bucket of water we will again share one consciousness and one mind. (When your droplet of water gets added to the bucket of water you will become the bucket of water!) But we will also share in all the different experiences that all of us as individuals have experienced.

To simplify it... imagine that you and I merge into one soul (one drop). We wont be 2 minds sharing one consciousness. We will become one mind, one consciousness and one thought. You will think that you are the one and I will feel like I am the one because our energies merged together to make one. You will inherit all my experiences and I will inherit all yours. I will become you and you will become me. We will be one!

Now imagine this happening on a large scale...

Every single living/conscious being (Even Satan) will merge into one... all sharing in one collective consciousness. If you can understand this you will then also understand that we cannot judge anything as good or bad because it's all you... Loving other living beings is loving yourself!

When you really understand the above life as you know it will change. You will realize that you are not here searching for anything... you are here to experience as much as possible... Just enjoy the ride....



"As the wave is part of the sea

and the sea is all of the wave

So I am part of God

And God is all of me…"

Answer: You are God that manifested yourself to experience yourself!
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Mary Frederick
Mary Frederick commented
Your belief system is interesting, a bit differet from mine, but I can see your point of view! Love is what it is all about!
JoMar
Anonymous
Anonymous commented
How very asian of you! The concept that we are all figments of God's imagination is in Taoism, Buddism and other asian philosophies. Carl Jung wrote often of our connectedness in the "Collective Unconscious". Christianity differs in that it sees each soul as unique and different but important to the whole. We are not swallowed up into the great ocean like a drop of water but we are added like a cell to the honeycomb, retaining all the specialness that is the individual, intack and conscious of it's place in the afterlife. (Heaven if you like)

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